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Sep. 15, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

MU researchers present findings at heart association meeting

HUNTINGTON -- Researchers from Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, in collaboration with international partners in China and Italy and colleagues in the United States, presented findings last week at the 2013 American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions later this week in New Orleans.

"We are very pleased that all eight of our research abstracts were accepted for presentation at this world-class conference," Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Dr. H.C., FAHA, vice dean for research at the School of Medicine, said in a news release. "Marshall is truly expanding its medical research footprint and is being recognized at the international level."

Abraham said research from Marshall scientists and clinicians includes findings on heart disease, obesity, fatty liver and hypertension.

Much of the research here at Marshall is focused on the issues that plague the population in West Virginia and the entire Appalachian region, Abraham said in the release.

For example, a project that he and Dean Joseph Shapiro have worked on with researchers from Beijing and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in North Carolina found small, special fatty acids that can improve heart attack mediated damage to prevent further damage.

Gala to celebrate mining industry set for Oct. 3

HUNTINGTON -- Miners, industry leaders, community members and others will gather Thursday, Oct. 3, at Tamarack in Beckley for a gala reception, dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate West Virginia's coal mining enterprise.

"The West Virginia mining industry is very important to us, for example, as a destination for jobs for many graduates from our safety technology program," Dr. Tony Szwilski, chairman of the event planning committee and director of Marshall University's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences, said in a release. "The industry depends upon thousands of individuals in a number of different roles and every person--whether they work as a safety engineer, miner, environmental professional or equipment supplier--contributes to each ton of coal produced, as do countless community leaders, educators and mining families.

"The mining industry owes its success to every one of them. This event is intended to honor and recognize the contributions of everyone involved. Last year's celebration was a rousing success and we look forward to this year's program being even bigger and better."

Szwilski said one of the highlights of the gala will be the "Because of You" awards presented to several individuals for their significant contributions to West Virginia's coal-mining community. This year's honorees include:

James H. "Buck" Harless of Gilbert, whose success in the coal and timber industries and commitment to the people of southern West Virginia have inspired him to become one of the state's leading philanthropists (Community Investment Award)

Geneva Steele of Paynesville, who helped lead the effort to build the McDowell County Miners' Memorial in Bradshaw and has worked with the local historical society to preserve the area's coal mining heritage (Community Involvement Award)

Jim Dean of Morgantown, who heads West Virginia University's mining and industrial extension program and served as acting director of the state's Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training following the Sago and Aracoma mine disasters (Safety Professional Award)

Jennie Henthorn of St. Albans, owner of Henthorn Environmental Services and a recognized authority on state and federal water quality standards and environmental permitting (Environmental Professional Award)

Roger Owensby of Bluefield, director of the mining engineering technology program at Bluefield State College and a certified mine foreman-fireboss (Educator of the Year Award) and

Katharine Fredriksen of Pittsburgh, senior vice president of environmental strategy and regulatory affairs for CONSOL Energy Inc. (Women in Mining Award).

Internationally recognized musician and songwriter John Ellison, who grew up in the mining community of Landgraff in McDowell County, will be on hand at the event to accept a special "Spirit of the Coalfields" award. A member of the 1960s group the Soul Brothers Six, Ellison is best known for writing the song "Some Kind of Wonderful." He is dedicating his award to the memory of his father, who worked in the mines in McDowell County.

"Rocket Boys" author Homer Hickam, the recipient of last year's "Spirit of the Coalfields" award, will present a new award, the "Homer Hickam Collier Award," to a working coal miner who epitomizes the spirit, dedication and skills of the mining profession. The 2013 recipient, Scott Lancianese of Mount Hope, is a third-generation West Virginia miner who has worked in the industry for 36 years, including the last 16 as a superintendent for Alpha Natural Resources.

Szwilski added that representatives of the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area also will be on hand to present the Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievements in Coal Heritage Preservation, the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Coal Heritage Marketing Award and the Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award.

A free reception will begin at 5 p.m. in the Tamarack atrium. Entertainment will be provided by singer-songwriter Reagan Boggs, who wrote "Thank You - Miner's Song" as a tribute to the men and women who work in the mines. A native of the mining community Pound, Va., Boggs is currently playing shows with Nashville-based group The Coal Men.

Dinner and the awards ceremony, which require a ticket, will begin at 6 p.m. in the ballroom. Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call 304-696-4029.

For more information about the Miners' Celebration, visit www.marshall.edu/cegas/events/mcc.

The Miners' Celebration is a cooperative project of the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences at Marshall University; the National Coal Heritage Area; the United Mine Workers of America; the West Virginia Coal Association; Strategic Solutions LLC; and the West Virginia Division of Energy, Office of Coalfield Community Development.

Sponsors include Brickstreet Insurance, Marshall University, State Electric Supply Company and the West Virginia Division of Energy.

Wayne Nursing & Rehab rates high in employee satisfaction

WAYNE -- Wayne Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has again received high satisfaction scores from its employees, according to My InnerView, an independent survey company that collects and analyzes data from more than 16,000 long-term care centers throughout the United States.

The center will receive the 2012-2013 Excellence in Action Award for having employee satisfaction levels that rank in the top 10 percent in the nation.

Wayne Nursing & Rehabilitation Center had 95 percent of employees rate their overall job satisfaction as "excellent or good." Across West Virginia and the nation, 67 percent of employees rated their overall satisfaction as "excellent or good."

Wayne Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is a 60-bed skilled nursing and long-term care center, which also specializes in short-term rehabilitation care such as physical, speech and occupational therapy.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Wayne Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at 304-697-7007.

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